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Fine Art printing


Fine Art Printing is the process of transferring digital artwork and photographs to high-quality paper with mineral pigment inks. It has been used worldwide by artists as well as being demanded by the most renowned collectors, decorators, museums and galleries.


It is defined by the longevity, conservation and preservation of prints, following museum requirements that are more than 150 years old, without loss of quality, color change or fading of inks and paper, when preserved in appropriate conditions.


The Fine Art standard requires three elements: certified and standardized paper or canvas, mineral pigment inks and a special printer with a modern color management system.

The entire printing process requires very special care, such as strict management of equipment and inputs used. As the material used is very delicate, handling should only be done with the use of gloves to avoid the risk of your work of art suffering any more aggressive marks.


Due to all these specificities, Fine Art prints become true works of art, with high quality reproduction, more vivid colors and resistance to time.

Custom sizes that adapt to your project




Certificate of Authenticity


The Hahnemuhle Certificate of Authenticity was developed for photographers and artists who want to guarantee the originality of limited runs made on Hahnemuhle paper.


Both the foil and the hologram together avoid the dangers of forgery. The certificate sheet is made of cotton with a watermark and fluorescent security fibers, as well as a numbered security hologram.


A second hologram with the same number comes along to be placed on the back of the work. The numbering is unique and continuous and ensures that each certificate refers to a specific work of art.


7 myths about fine art


There are some myths about fine art that bring some misconceptions about the world of fine art and the world of art in general.
The magical universe of fine art has captivated admirers and artists for centuries. However, as in any field, myths and misconceptions can arise and cloud understanding of this fascinating world.
Let's unravel some of the most common myths about fine art.


Myth 1: Fine art is inaccessible


A common misconception is that fine art is only reserved for the elite. In fact, there are affordable options and a variety of formats, allowing art lovers of all budgets to appreciate and collect fine works.


Myth 2: Only art experts can understand


Appreciating fine art does not require a degree in art history. Each person has a unique and valid interpretation of the work. Therefore, the beauty of art lies in the diversity of perspectives, and anyone can dive into this universe without fear.


Myth 3: Fine art is limited to classical paintings


Although classical paintings are an important part of fine art, the contemporary world has expanded horizons. In addition to high-quality photographs, digital prints and modern sculptures, there is a variety of other art that is also part of this vibrant scene.


Myth 4: All Art Prints are the same


Don't be fooled into thinking that all prints are the same. Quality varies significantly, as fine art prints are produced using careful techniques, ensuring durability and fidelity to the original work.


Myth 5: Fine art does not fit into modern environments


Contrary to myth, fine art can perfectly complement modern environments. Therefore, with a variety of styles, colors and themes, it is possible to find a piece of fine art that fits into any contemporary decor.


Myth 6: Fine art artists don’t innovate


Fine art artists are constantly innovating and experimenting. As such, new techniques, materials and themes emerge regularly, defying expectations and keeping fine art as exciting as it has always been.


Myth 7: Fine Art Has No Investment Value


Contrary to what some think, fine art can be an excellent form of investment. Because the value of some works can increase over time, becoming a valuable asset.




Uncovering these common myths about fine art is crucial to truly appreciating the diversity and richness of this world. In doing so, more people may feel inspired to explore, collect and fall in love through this unique form of expression.
Fine art is for everyone, and its beauty is within the reach of anyone who dares to dive into this wonderful creative universe.
SOURCE: Insta Arts


- Technical Information -


Which paper should I choose?


The main brands are Hahnemühle, Awagami, Canson e ILFORD.


The wide variety of roles can be scary at first, but as soon as we start to have contact with this universe, little by little, doubts begin to dissipate.


Each manufacturer has a wide variety of options for the most varied types of illustrations, from smooth or textured paper, matte/matte, through semi-glossy/semi-gloss to glossy/glossy.


Hahnemühle, for example, has two lines (art papers and fine art papers), both of which present great quality and beauty, but there are differences that determine the uses of each one.
Artistic papers are those used for working with watercolor, graphite, charcoal, crayon, etc.

All Hahnemühle papers are manufactured with selected raw materials based on cotton or alphacellulose, lignin-free, acid-free, neutral pH, resistant to light and long-lasting. No use of gelatin or other animal derivatives. Made with pure water, without the need for chemical treatment and naturally resistant against fungi and bacteria.


Fine art papers are also manufactured with the same care, but in addition, for inkjet printing, they require a special coating so that 1) the ink is received evenly on the surface of the paper; 2) to provide uniformity when filling irregularities and 3) protection against water. The different types of coatings will also determine the characteristics of the paper finish: matte, semi-gloss or glossy.
In both cases we have options for smooth or textured paper. Among fine art we also have canvas (fabric), which can also have a matte, semi-gloss or glossy finish. The choice of paper is quite personal and each job may itself require a certain type of support. Try to see the roles “live” to learn about their characteristics and peculiarities.


If you have any questions, it will be a pleasure to resolve them.


Framed and handled properly, fine art prints can achieve longevity of over 250 years.


However, talking about the durability of fine art prints in Megalux-hora is the most technical way of evaluating resistance to fading by light. In addition to time, the amount of light received is decisive for the print's useful life. There are criteria for classifying light durability. They are called Conservation Display Ratings or CDR and inform the Megalux-hour limits that a print can withstand and still remain in excellent condition, that is, where “little or no noticeable fading” is observed.


The most rigorous conservation exhibition classifications are important to serve as expert guidance for collectors, curators, conservators and artists seeking to ensure the highest standards of handling, storage and display of works of art in their care so that the original intent of the artist is preserved.

If you are interested in knowing these tables, go to: Aardenburg - Imaging


If you have any questions, it will be a pleasure to resolve them.


Types of

Fine Art Papers

Links to manufacturers below the table



Main Manufacturers



Compatibility: Paper and Ink


On the Freestylephoto website features a comprehensive table detailing various manufacturers and paper types, along with their unique characteristics, compatibility with different ink types (dye or pigment), and user ratings. This resource is an excellent starting point for those seeking an introduction to the fine art paper world. 


To determine the appropriate recommendations and criteria for producing enduring artwork, specific tests simulate years of light exposure and assess the potential for image fading on the paper. These insights help in predicting the longevity of the printed image.


Research and Testing


The Aardenburg Imaging and Archives  is a non-profit organization that conducts research and testing related to imaging and printing. You can register for free and have access to reports and other materials.
They are very technical, but they cover several printer models and the most varied types of paper.



Other Concepts



When searching on Google for the expression "fine art," around 18 million results appear and at least 11 different definitions, in addition to a huge debate about which one is correct.


To move forward, it is necessary to make some presumptions and assume some definitions even if they are not unanimous. Art and its meanings have always followed nebulous paths, with different divisions and categories. One of these divisions is the one that separates applied arts from fine arts: to simplify things a lot, the former would be the production of objects that are aesthetically pleasing and creative, but of practical, everyday, and functional use, while fine arts would be activities that aim to produce items intended for intellectual stimulation.


The division is not always so clear, because architecture is considered one of the fine arts, while engineering would be an applied art (or skill) – and both are involved in the construction of a building, for example.


On the other hand, crafts such as photography or printing (which after Gutenberg also began to have more utilitarian purposes than the production of engravings) always had one foot here and another there, needing to resort to prefixes to define their use; Terms such as "commercial printing" and "fine art printing" show the usefulness of this printing and the degree of care and skill invested in its preparation.


In the expression "fine art printing," skill and nobility (the "fine" of the matter, a legacy of the times when art did not separate the beautiful from the skilled) are linked to the printing process, not to what is being printed. Despite this, what exactly will be printed has an enormous weight in defining the usefulness of the final object, which makes this division between "fine art" and "commercial" somewhat foolish if we go back to the original definitions of fine art and fine art. applied; But the expression stuck, and it has its uses.




Illustrations are produced for the most diverse purposes: some are ephemeral in nature and reside in media that are difficult to control in terms of color and reproduction quality, such as illustrations for magazines or even for websites; others are made to last as long as possible and meet high requirements for color, detail, and quality – they are collectible objects, valuable financially or emotionally.


Fine Art Printers


Fine Art printers are skilled printers, specialized in one or more noble image reproduction technologies – they employ high-quality materials and complex processes to ensure high durability and fidelity prints.


Interesting examples of the analog era are the famous English studio 31 Studio, specialized in platinum and palladium prints, and responsible for wonderful prints from the Genesis series, by photographer Sebastião Salgado, the author and printer Ctein, extremely skilled in the processes of pigment transfer and Cibachrome (today Ilfochrome) used in printing stickers, the legendary Atelier Fresson, creator of its own carbon pigment printing technology, and the Brazilian laboratory scientist Silvio Pinhatti, specialized in PB enlargements on photographic paper and silver gelatin.


Digital Fine Art Printing


But what about in the digital age? Are there noble printing processes to print digital files directly, without the need to produce a negative?


Yes. Inkjet printing – the same one from your office printer – has evolved a lot, to the point of becoming a process with high quality and durability; Not every inkjet printer does this, only models designed for the task, and fed with specific inks and premium papers. But the result is impressive and produces prints that can survive more than a century, if properly handled.


Some call this noble inkjet system "fine art printing" in its own right, while others use the term "giclée" (which means "spray" in French, so it would be an equivalent to the term "inkjet") to distinguish the digital process from analog fine art prints. And how do these machines differ from the good old multifunctional one I have on my desk? Although there are giclée printers (even though the term is not universal, I will adopt it here in the article so that the text is clearer) in conventional A4 format, the majority print in larger formats; the largest reach more than one meter in width and are printed on paper rolls, which would allow for huge 3x1 meter panoramas, for example. Even when printing on larger surfaces, the ability to reproduce detail remains unchanged, which makes the process very advantageous when creating large prints.






Color reproduction is a key differentiating factor between giclée printing and other digital printing methods. While standard printers typically use only four colors – cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) – giclée printers employ a broader spectrum of inks, often ranging from eight to twelve colors. This expanded color palette enables giclée prints to achieve a wider gamut of hues and finer tonal transitions, rendering colors that are more vibrant and true to the original artwork.


One notable example is the HP Designjet Z3200, which utilizes 12 distinct ink types, including two shades of black and a varnish. This extensive ink repertoire contributes to the remarkable color fidelity and exceptional detail that characterize giclée prints.


Another crucial aspect of giclée printing is the durability of the colors produced. Unlike dyes, which tend to fade over time, the pigments used in giclée inks are exceptionally resistant to color deterioration. This enhanced colorfastness stems from the pigments' inherent chemical stability, ensuring that giclée prints retain their vibrant appearance for a significantly longer period.


Mineral pigments, in particular, exhibit remarkable chemical stability and resilience against the effects of aging. However, due to their higher cost and the specialized handling they require, they are typically more expensive than dyes.


To ensure consistent color reproduction, giclée inks undergo rigorous testing and quality control measures. Manufacturers meticulously regulate the paint's consistency, tone, and durability, ensuring that each batch closely matches the preceding ones.


The type of paper employed in giclée printing also plays a pivotal role in achieving high-quality results. Giclée papers must adhere to stringent specifications regarding consistency, durability, and composition.


Consistency is paramount to ensure that each sheet of paper interacts with the ink in a uniform manner, preserving the integrity of the printed image. Durability is equally essential, as the paper must possess exceptional chemical stability and resistance to yellowing over time.


Composition, too, is crucial, as the paper's surface characteristics must enable it to accept the ink pigments effectively, maintaining the intended pattern of colors and contrast.


Given the demanding requirements of giclée printing papers, it's unsurprising that traditional paper manufacturers like Canson, Hahnemuehle, Harman, and Somerset remain at the forefront of fine art paper production. These established brands often collaborate with giclée printing ateliers to assess their adherence to handling specifications, granting certifications to those that meet their exacting standards.


In conclusion, giclée printing stands out as a premium printing technique, distinguished by its exceptional color reproduction, long-lasting colors, and use of high-quality papers. These factors combine to produce fine art prints that are remarkably close to the original artwork, ensuring that the artist's vision is faithfully preserved for years to come.




Fine art collecting can be a great option for collectors.


Collecting is an activity that improves our ability to select, organize, recognize patterns and deviations, brings us satisfaction and good memories as a collection transports us to very dear places in our memory.


As neuroscientist, psychologist and collector Daniel Krawczyk explains to us, in his TED on collections, “the human brain is programmed to collect things”.


Maria Isabel R. Lenzi [1] informs us that:
“Collecting is a universally widespread activity. Krzysztof Pomian defines a collection as a set of objects kept outside the economic circuit and stored under special protection, often exposed to public view. He also remembers that some collection pieces are a source of aesthetic pleasure, others allow the acquisition of knowledge and that the fact of having a collection confers prestige, as it testifies to the taste, intellectual refinement, or even the wealth or generosity of the collector.
It is the social hierarchy that inevitably leads to the emergence of collections.”


When it comes to art collections, we immediately imagine the large collections of museums, galleries and other institutions. But the truth is that we don't need to live in large collections. We can create our own gallery in the comfort of our home and for that, fine art is an excellent choice.


Obviously we cannot leave aside the financial aspect of a collection, it is an investment. But we also cannot forget the social facets of works of art. They move an entire ecosystem made up of institutions, artists, ateliers, studios, schools, students, teachers, workers in general and social actions. Many lives are impacted by the production of works.


The coexistence and very existence of these places and activities directly interfere with society.
Memory is essential for a people and art is one of the main ways to preserve this memory.
Perhaps what we call art today emerged with a much more utilitarian character, much more focused on our need to record our learning and ensure the survival of our species.


Techniques and uses have evolved, but their importance, even if it is not immediately perceived, remains stronger than ever. We still learn a lot from images and, nowadays, we are surrounded by them more than ever.


If looking at a work on the wall still causes us admiration, it is because we have never forgotten, deep down in our cells, that images were our salvation and still are.


How much does a

Fine Art print cost?

Fine art printing is not a cheap process, especially in Brazil.


The degree of demand in handling, color control and the high costs of equipment and inputs end up reflecting on the cost of the final product, which is much more expensive than a chromogenic print made in a minilab, or a photobook printed in an offset.


The value of Fine Art printing charged is also proportional to the skill and reputation of the printer; Although giclée printing is not nearly as complex and artisanal a process as its analogue counterparts, it still requires a skilled and perfectionist printer – digital printing is not as simple as it seems, and preserving the original characteristics of the image in a high-quality print can be a challenging task.


But the product is not made from printing alone: even for the author, a certain period of adaptation is necessary to assimilate the process. A greater technical requirement, a certain skill with color management and image processing software, a good research of materials – the paper options are immense, and each one has a specific white, a certain texture and reproduces contrast and color in a different.


Paper prices depend on the printed area, the amount of paper involved and the variety used – price differences can be stark between papers from the same manufacturer.


The number of prints of the same art (numbered series), certification and hand signature made by the author are also important factors in the composition of the price.
Bibliographic References and Sources


[LENZI, Maria Isabel R. Coleção Gilberto Ferrez. In: CAVALCANTI, Ana; OLIVEIRA, Emerson Dionisio de; COUTO, Maria de Fátima Morethy; NETO, Maria João; MALTA, Marize (orgs.). Anais eletrônicos do II Encontro do Grupo MODOS/ II Colóquio Internacional Coleções de Arte em Portugal e Brasil: Histórias da arte em coleções – comunicações. Rio de Janeiro: EBA-UFRJ, 2016, p.20-31. Disponível em:

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